With the rise of police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, it is becoming abundantly clear that certain problems are not handled well by the police and would best be handled by specialized professionals. Because people tend to be reluctant to call the police for almost any problem, we created ERA to allow people to easily get access to police alternative resources that would be most effective for their problems, while simultaneously reducing the load on local law enforcement so they can focus on the real emergencies that require their attention. Through the simple design, ERA allows the user to get to their needed information within a few clicks and has the option to call the service through the screen as well. ERA provides listings for resources that provide emergency or crisis services related to homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, and child abuse.
What it does
Based on the user's location, ERA gives a list of police alternative resources for specific categories such as domestic violence, mental health, homelessness, and more. Not only does ERA provide a list of possible resources to deescalate and handle the non emergency situation, ERA also provides the address, website link, open hours, and the phone number of the resource that can be called immediately through the screen.
How we built it
ERA is a web application created with React.js and Bootstrap for the frontend, and Node.js, Express.js, and the Google Places API on the backend.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into issues with Git version control and web hosting, as well as getting started with the Google Places Text Search API.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As beginners to web development, we are very proud of our ability to quickly design and develop the entire full-stack web application successfully that provides a lot of useful resources to help others.
What we learned
We learned how to develop a full-stack application as a team by connecting frontend and backend components, as well as third-party APIs.
What's next for Emergency Resource Alternatives (ERA)
Because we do not have much design experience, the visual UI layout of ERA could be improved. We also believe this would be better implemented in an iOS app, so perhaps we will tinker with React Native and mobile development.